Friday, August 13, 2010

Gas Station Gratitude

Yesterday morning, at 6:10 AM, I sidled up to the pumps at a local full-serve gas station - filling the tank with gas before starting the 18 mile commute to the office. On the passenger seat next to me was an open purse overflowing with receipts, my half-eaten breakfast (turkey on wheat toast), and coffee soaked napkins from the drippy Venti Bold coffee I had just purchased at Starbucks. The stop for gas presented time to create a little order out of the chaos beside me.

As I saw the pump guy leave the booth and head towards my car, I hit "down" on my window and flipped the gas tank open. As he arrived I turned my head and called out, "Can you please fill her up with the least expensive unleaded?" Suddenly, there was a smiling brown face in my field of vision, and the pump guy looked at me and said, "Good morning!" I was startled, and realized that I was interacting with this man as if he were a machine designed to pump gas, rather than a human being providing me with a service. I stopped my front seat multi-tasking, looked at him, and said "Good morning to you."


It is good to be reminded of the dignity of the people who provide services in this world. People who work in grocery stores are making it possible for me to enjoy beautiful and life sustaining food. Post office workers make it possible for me to stay connected with the people I love, and garbage men keep our society safe from disease by hauling away our trash. I invite you to remember to acknowledge the people who provide services that make your life easier, safer and more pleasant by saying hello, or thank you, or taking the time to find out just a little more about who they are and what makes their heart go pitter pat.

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